Beginning university, college or trade school can be an exciting time, but it also comes with new financial responsibilities. Learning how to manage money and debt wisely when you are young will help you reach your goals, both in education and in life.
A good way to start is by making a budget. According to data from the 2014 Canadian Financial Capability Survey, only one-third of 18-24-year-olds have a budget. A budget — essentially a map of your income, expenses and savings — is an effective tool that can help you manage, save and spend money wisely. The simple act of creating a budget and sticking to it can help put you on a path toward greater financial well-being. A budget can also reduce stress, help you avoid excessive student debt and save for the future.
When making your budget for student life, consider where the money will come from. Your income may come from personal savings or a job while going to school. It’s always worth considering how to supplement these sources with free money in the form of scholarships, bursaries and grants, which can come from the federal and provincial/territorial governments as well as from colleges, universities and other institutions.
Source: the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.